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updated: 12/7/2010 8:41 AM

Buffalo Grove board chides OTB parlor

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All bets will apparently be on at Adam's Roadhouse Sports Bar & Grill, 301 N. Milwaukee Ave.

The Buffalo Grove village board leaned Monday toward allowing Hawthorne Race Course to continue to operate the off-track betting parlor, despite not notifying the village that it had taken over from the previous owner,

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The board voted 5-1, with Trustee Beverly Sussman casting the only no vote and new Trustee Eric Smith voting with the majority, to direct village staff to prepare an ordinance to address all outstanding issues.

Hawthorne, one of the partners in Inter-Track, took over from Inter-Track in September after Inter-Track fell into financial difficulties.

However, the special use ordinance allowing the OTB required the village board to approve any change in ownership or else the special use would be terminated.

Deputy Village Manager Ghida Neukirch said the finance department noticed the issue when staff received a business renewal from the roadhouse with the name changed from Inter-Track to Hawthorne.

Jeff Kras, chief operating officer of Hawthorne Race Course, apologized for the mistake.

But village board members, while seeming willing to work with Inter-Track, because it was a part of Inter-Track, took Kras to task.

Trustees expressed disappointment that Hawthorne had not notified the village of the change immediately.

"You're on notice from this board.. that you don't have a lot of leeway," said Trustee Jeffrey Berman.

Trustee Beverly Sussman grilled village staff as to why the business was not shut down.

"I feel it should have been terminated when we found out," she said.

Village Manager Dane Bragg said that Hawthorne was making sufficient progress toward compliance. And that there was not a specific deviation from the original terms of use.

Former Trustee Lisa Stone also received information about the change in ownership and notified Neukirch.

Stone was on hand Monday and said she had brought the matter to the village's attention.

Neukirch said that by the time Stone contacted her, the paperwork was already in possession by the finance department.

Neukirch and Kras both said from the standpoint of the Illinois Racing Board the license to operate the facility had always been in Hawthorne's name because Inter-Track was just a management company. Hawthorne, Kras added, was always a partner in the company and applied for all licenses.

Before discussing the amendment, however, the village board first addressed Adam's Roadhouse's request to keep up a billboard sign identifying the facility.

Village staff and the trustees would like to see the billboard taken down because it creates clutter along the Milwaukee Avenue.

Michael Arab of Adam's Roadhouse testified that it would cost him more than $10,000 to take the sign down.

Arab said it was important to keep it for advertising purposes. He added that there were many other billboards along the street.

The board agreed to allow the extension for only one year.

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